Today we’d like to bring to your attention a situation in a part of Connecticut (Stamford) where the representative for a group of local residents publicly states that some water testing beats no water testing.
While we think no area with doubts about water quality should have to settle for less testing than they’d like, we do want to mention that we agree with the man’s assessment that some testing beats none — and we encourage people to test their drinking water for the simple things that require only a basic water test kit.
Variations in basic water parameters can sometimes indicate a much bigger problem or, at the very least, give well owners a reason to investigate further. As an example, elevated total dissolved solids (TDS) levels means water contains more broken down substances than usual… and a well owner might want to know WHAT substances have broken down and infiltrated his/her water supply.
Residents of Stamford, CT hope that compiling water test results from across their region will help identify potential sources of well water contamination and although only a fraction of the requested testing will get done, as we mentioned before, some testing beats no testing each and every time.
STAMFORD — The Board of Representatives unanimously approved funding for limited well testing Monday night, freeing nearly $18,700 for analysis of 50 city wells in North Stamford.
“It’s not everything that we would have wanted,” said Jay Crutcher, a representative for North Stamford Concerned Citizens for the Environment, a residential group. “It’s 50 wells out of 5,000 across North Stamford, which is literally 1 percent. The statistical accuracy of it is definitely less than bulletproof, but it’s better than nothing.”
In addition to testing 50 wells, the city is also compiling data voluntarily submitted by North Stamford residents who have tested their wells at their own expense, Fountain said. So far, the city has received more than 70 submissions of data analysis from residents.
“Any environmental results that the city gets are all public information,” Fountain said.
The health department is creating a map that will identify contamination locations. The map will be posted on the city’s website and also on the Scofieldtown Task Force website when completed, Fountain said. ( source )
So… what can the average person test for in their own drinking water? On a very basic level, and in addition to TDS testing, sudden changes in pH, total hardness and/or alkalinity can make water ‘aggressive’ and may result in the corrosion of metal surfaces which in turn adds dissolved metals to the water. Some metals, such as iron and copper, may not pose all that great a health risk (usually), but others like lead and arsenichave the ability to do a lot of sometimes irreparable damage to the human body.